FOXBORO, Mass. — Day 2 of New England Patriots minicamp didn’t bring many highlight plays on offense.
That’s not to say Tom Brady and the Patriots offense struggled. New England’s defense was just solid at preventing big catches.
The Patriots’ best defender Wednesday, unsurprisingly, was cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who had two pass breakups on the day. He stymied rookie wideout N’Keal Harry and veteran receiver Phillip Dorsett in coverage.
— Absentees: safety Patrick Chung, running backs Sony Michel and Nick Brossette, offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and defensive end Deatrich Wise. Safety Nate Ebner was present but not in uniform.
— Returning: None.
— For the second straight day, rookie wide receiver/punt returner Gunner Olszewski was the first player on the field.
— Here was the Patriots top-team offense in a two-minute drill: QB Tom Brady, RB James White, WRs Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett and Maurice Harris (slot), TE Matt LaCosse, LT Joe Thuney, LG Brian Schwenke, C David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason and RT Marcus Cannon.
The second-team offense was QB Brian Hoyer, RB Rex Burkhead, WRs N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Braxton Berrios (slot), TE Ben Watson, LT Dan Skipper, LG Hjalte Froholdt, C Ted Karras, RG Tyler Gauthier and RT Cedrick Lang.
— Returning punts were wide receivers Edelman, Dorsett, Berrios, Harris and Olszewski.
— Harry was in that punt return group in OTAs, but now that Brady is back for minicamp, the rookie was working off to the side with quarterbacks during one set of punt drills. In another set, Harry was getting time with former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown. It’s probably smart to get Harry situated on offense before trying to put too much on his plate. Harry didn’t catch a pass in team drills but saw a lot of time against Gilmore.
— Former Pats wide receiver Deion Branch also was assisting the coaching staff.
— Harris has been a standout in these unpadded practices. He does a nice job of high pointing the ball and seems to track the ball well in the air.
— One of the special guests at practice was Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. The first two minicamp practices have been crawling with college assistants.
— It’s notable that Thuney keeps working at left tackle with projected starter Isaiah Wynn limited and Cajuste out.
— Berrios had a drop in individual drills. Rookie wideout Ryan Davis had two drops in individual drills. There were no drops in team drills.
— Gilmore had two pass breakups. Cornerback Jonathan Jones and safeties Duron Harmon, Terrence Brooks and Malik Gant had one apiece.
— Brady was 10-of-16 in 11-on-11s and 13-of-19 overall in team drills. Hoyer was 9-of-14 in 11s and 15-of-20 overall. Jarrett Stidham was 4-of-5 in 11s and 7-of-9 overall. Fourth-stringer Danny Etling was 1-of-3 in 4-on-4 drills and didn’t compete in full-team drills.
— LaCosse continues to look like the best player at his position over Watson, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck.